British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Monday evening agreed the broad terms of a free-trade deal.
Johnson and Morrison, who reached the in-principle agreement over dinner on Monday, are set to formally announce the deal Tuesday morning. It is the first such pact the U.K. has negotiated from scratch since it left the European Union.
The deal, which is forecasted to boost U.K. GDP by a modest 0.02 percent over 15 years, has been a subject of concern for the agricultural sector, with British farmers warning that too much liberalization could set a dangerous precedent that would harm their industry.
“We believe there should be meaningful safeguards for sensitive sectors such as beef, sheepmeat and sugar,” Nick von Westenholz, director of trade and business strategy for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), told POLITICO’s Morning Trade UK.
Australian environmental standards are also an issue. “Australian farming allows the use of 71 highly hazardous substances and thousands more types of pesticides that are currently banned in the U.K.” Tanya Steele, chief executive of WWF-UK, wrote in an Independent op-ed.
Twenty-four MPs wrote to U.K. Trade Secretary Liz Truss to demand proper parliamentary scrutiny of the deal, according to the Financial Times.